You may be well aware of the sorry state of affairs which had marred the Manipur Civil Services Examination (MCS) 2010. Despite adopting similar examination Rules as followed by UPSC, 50% was fixed by the MPSC as qualifying mark in General English paper in the said examination. The Hon’ble High Court of Manipur has also struck down the fixation of 50% on the grounds of illegality and arbitrariness. Thereafter, MPSC have filed an appeal before the Hon’ble Supreme Court which is yet to be decided. Having said all these, let me now bring to your kind notice the remarkable judgement of the Hon’ble Supreme Court rendered in the landmark case of Ashok Kumar Yadav & Ors Vs State of Haryana & Ors (1985) 4 SCC 417. In this case, the Apex Court has categorically held that “there should be uniformity in the selection process throughout the country & the practice followed by the UPSC should be taken as a guide for the State Public Service Commissions to adopt and follow”. Taking serious note of this precedent, I had filed series of RTI applications to ascertain the exact qualifying marks fixed by the UPSC in the All India Civil Service (Main) Examinations. UPSC vide its letter dated 10/06/2015 have informed me the qualifying mark of the English paper fixed in the Mains (Written) Examinations of 2010, 2011, 2012 and 2013 respectively which happened to be only 25% all through (in 2014 exam, it was also 25%). In the context of the above cited undisputed facts, it is now crystal clear that MPSC, by fixing 50% in 2010 MCS Examination, had not only deliberately ignored the observations of the Hon’ble Apex Court. Mention may be made that MPSC had also made a starting with respect to the fixation of the qualifying marks in the subsequent MCS examination of 2013 which was further reduced to 40% for General, 38% for OBC, 35% for ST/SC and 30% for persons with Physical disabilities. Justifying the move, MPSC in their reply affidavit had admitted that the chairman of the MPSC has consulted UPSC and taken into consideration the practices and norms followed by other State Public Service Commissions. Therefore, MPSC had wilfully applied different yardsticks from examination to examination as per their convenience and advantages. It clearly shows the double standards and farcical face of the MPSC. There is also no denial of the fact that everybody has a right to appeal to a higher court if he or she is aggrieved by the judgement of a lower court but in a prima facie case of such nature, I hardly see any reasonable grounds or merits on which an appeal may be preferred before the Supreme Court. Was it because of an ill advice given by somebody in highest authority or was it a last ditch effort of the MPSC to delay the compliance of the High Court’s Order and to keep their tainted image away from public glare for the time being. Whatever justification MPSC may offer to this whole sordid saga of 50% fixation, the same will be of no relevance at all because MPSC have not only lost the legal battle in the very first place but also now the perception battle following the revelation of the 25% qualifying mark fixed by the UPSC. Lastly, I humbly leave everything to the wisdom of those persons who are self styled men of propriety and integrity. For them, “MCS is definitely greater than IAS”.
Brahmapur Thangapat Mapal